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Matthew 27:27-54


Intro: The history of the world is little more than a collection of days, strung together to form years, the years to form decades and the decades to form centuries. Most days are ordinary days, there is little to distinguish them from any other day. However, here and there along the relentless march of history, one encounters days that are worth remembering.

The landscape of history is dotted with what we might refer to as days of infamy. President Franklin Roosevelt, referring to December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese bombed the Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii said, "It was a day that will live in infamy." An infamous day is one to be remembered because an event of unspeakable evil or some other horrible event occurred. Another infamous day that is fresh in all of our minds is September 11, 2001, when America suffered a brutal terrorist attack.

Of course, other days in history are to be remembered because of the special nature of the events that occurred in them. November 9, 1989 will always be remembered as the day the Berlin Wall came crashing down, signaling the end of the oppression of the people's of Eastern Europe. Just this week, April 9, 2003, billions of people watched as the citizens of Baghdad toppled a 40 foot statue of Saddam Hussein, signifying the end of his reign of terror.

The day before us in our text today has the distinction of being both a day of intense evil and a day which witnessed the triumph of good over evil. There is no other day in history that rises to the level of the day The King Was Crucified! It was an infamous day because it shows man at the height of his sinfulness. It was infamous because He came unto His Own and His Own received Him not. It was infamous because the Creator is put to death by His creatures! However, it was a famous day in the annals of history because sin was defeated; the power of Satan was forever broken; and because the black halls of death were invaded by the Prince of Life!

I would like for us to travel back to that day 2000 years ago and watch as the King of glory is crucified at Calvary. I pray the significance of that day will be made clear to our hearts and minds. Let's witness together The Crucifixion Of The King.


A. It Was A Prominent Place

1. It Was Prominent Physically - Golgotha - the place of the skull, or in Latin, it is called Calvary! That place that resembles the skull of a dead man. That place littered with the skulls of death men. That place just outside the gates of the city of Jerusalem was well known to all the people who lived there. They had witnessed the deaths of thousands of criminals and others who were considered enemies of the Roman government. Since it was Roman practice to allow the bodies of the crucified to rot on their crosses, you can believe that the people of Israel knew this place very well.

2. It Was Prominent Historically - this mountain that was being defiled by Rome was a special place for the Jews. You see, this hill was part of the same ridge upon which the Temple itself was built. It was also here that Abraham had brought his son Isaac many centuries before to offer him to God, Gen. 22. This was a very prominent place for the Jewish people.

B. It Was A Prophetic Place - In Gen. 22, we find the story of how Abraham was commanded to offer up his son Isaac as a burnt offering to God. That passage is one of the clearest Old Testament pictures of the coming death of God's Son Jesus on Calvary. There, we see a Father willingly giving up his own son to die. In that passage, there are two verses worthy of special note today. Notice verses 5-14. Two verses stand out to my mind in connection with what we are studying today. The first is verse 8. There, Abraham says, "God will prove Himself a lamb for a burnt offering." The wording of that verse is significant! The second verse is verse 14, where the Bible says, "In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen." This is an ancient prophesy telling us that God would give His Lamb on this very mountain. That is just what we are seeing in Matt. 27. This was a prophetic place!


A. V. 35a He Endured The Pain Of The Cross - The Bible says it so simply, "And they crucified Him..." But, those words do not even begin to convey the horror of what Jesus Christ endured on that cross. Consider that fact that before He arrived at Calvary Jesus had been awake all night. He has been through at least four trials. He has been beaten by the Jews. He has been beaten by the Roman soldiers. He has endured the horror of the Roman scourge. He has been mocked, ridiculed, spit upon and made to carry His cross to Calvary, then He is crucified! An act more horrible than anything you and I can imagine! Here is a brief description of what it must have been like.

(Note: What is crucifixion? A medical doctor provides a physical description: The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place.

The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain--the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet. As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.

Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. It is now almost over--the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level--the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues--the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through is tissues. . .Finally he can allow his body to die.

All this the Bible records with the simple words, "And they crucified Him." (Mark 15:24). What wondrous love is this? That was what He endured because of His love for you, Rom. 5:8!

- Adapted from C. Truman Davis, M.D. in The Expositor's Bible Commentary Vol. 8.)

(Note: I would remind you that He was still the Creator as He hung on that cross! He could have called for myriads of angels, Matt. 26:53, but He endured His crucifixion in silence, just as the prophet had said He would, Isa. 53:7. Why did He do this? Because He loves you!)

B. V. 35-44 He Endured The Pain Of The Crowds - While Jesus endured the agony of the cross, those who were at Calvary that day did everything in their power to enhance His suffering. The soldiers who had nailed Him to the cross are at His feet gambling over His clothes. The rank and file walk beneath His stricken form and mock Him. The religious leaders ridicule this sad, broken figure hanging on the cross. Even the two other men who are hanging there with Him that day join in the mockery of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The only compassion He received that day was from a tiny group of people gathered at the foot of His cross watching His die. His mother, an aunt, a beloved disciple, a woman delivered from a life of sin. They were there to love Him and mourn His death!

(Note: Again, I am reminded of just Who this was hanging there that day! One word from Him and His tormentors would have evaporated into nothingness! Yet, He did not return their torments or attacks. When He did speak, it was to pray for them and for their forgiveness, Luke 23:34. What grace! Why did He do this? Because He loves you!)

C. V. 45-46 He Endured The Pain Of The Condemned - When I refer to His enduring the pain of the condemned, I am not just referring to His graciously saying the dying thief, Luke 23:39-43. I am referring to the amazing event that transpired during the three hours of darkness. I am referring to that moment in time when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, literally became the sin of the world on the cross, 2 Cor. 5:21. I will never understand it, but I praise God for it every day. Somehow, all of our sins were transferred to Him as He hung on that cross. He, the last Adam, became our sin and He was judged by God in our place! The first Adam brought sin and death to the entire human race by his actions in the Garden of Eden. The second Adam, the Lord Jesus, brought salvation and life to all who will believe by His actions on the cross of Calvary! God judged Him as if He were every sinner when He died. He paid the price for all of us that we all might be saved!

(Note: Why did He endure the full brunt of the wrath of God on the cross? Why did He take our Hell and feel our death? Because He loves you!)


A. V. 50 The Power Of Redemption - When the Saviour breathed His last on the cross, redemption had been secured for all those who will place their faith in Him! No greater words have ever been spoken that when Jesus, just before He died said, "It is finished!", John 19:30. Through His death, He satisfied God's just demands for sin, Rom. 6:23. He took the place of the guilty before the judgment bar of God and secured redemption through His blood for all who will trust Him as their Savior, 1 Pet. 1:18-19! His death on the cross forever satisfied God, 1 John 2:2; Rom. 3:25. His death on the cross liberates those trapped and victimized by sin! He sets us free when we receive Him by faith!

(Ill. In his book Written in Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. The doctor explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier. Her only chance for recovery was a transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the disease. Since the two children had the same rare blood type, the boy was the ideal donor.

"Would you give your blood to Mary?" the doctor asked. Johnny hesitated. His lower lip started to tremble. Then he smiled and said, "Sure, for my sister." Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room--Mary, pale and thin; Johnny, robust and healthy. Neither spoke, but when their eyes met, Johnny grinned. As the nurse inserted the needle into his arm, Johnny's smile faded. He watched the blood flow through the tube.

With the ordeal almost over, his voice, slightly shaky, broke the silence. "Doctor, when do I die?'

Only then did the doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated, why his lip had trembled when he'd agreed to donate his blood. He's thought giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life. In that brief moment, he'd made his great decision. Johnny, fortunately, didn't have to die to save his sister. Each of us, however, has a condition more serious than Mary's, and it required Jesus to give not just His blood but His life.)

What that means for you my friend is that you do not have to die and go to Hell! You can be saved by the grace of God! Your sins can be forgiven! You can be made right with God if you will receive Him as your Lord and Savior!

B. V. 50 The Power Of Restoration - Through the death of Jesus on the cross, the believer finds himself restored to a right relationship with God. Through His death, all those who receive Him by faith, are justified, Rom. 5:9. The word justified means "to be declared righteous; to render one righteous, or to make one as he ought to be." The blood of Jesus does for me what I could never do for myself! It washes my sins away and renders me righteous in the sight of the Lord. It is the blood of Jesus that makes men worthy to go to Heaven, Phil. 3:9.

C. V. 51 The Power Of Reconciliation - When Jesus died on the cross, we are told that the veil of the Temple was torn in half, from the top to the bottom. The veil stood as a barrier between the holy place and the holy of holies in the Temple. Behind this veil was the mercyseat. The High Priest would enter behind that veil once each year on the Day of Atonement and place the blood of the sacrifice on the mercyseat to atone for the sins of the people. That veil had stood as a reminder that man was separated from God by his sins and was unworthy to approach God, Isa. 59:2. However, when Jesus died on the cross, that veil was torn in two, signifying that the way to God had been opened. Man no longer need ever be separated from God by his sins any longer. He can be brought into the presence of God by the blood of Christ that was shed on the cross, Eph. 2:12-16. The blood brings sinful man and holy God together as one!

Conc: I can only think of one day that might rival the day Jesus died as an even more glorious day, at least on a personal level. That day would be the day when I understood that He died for me and I responded to His call and was saved by His grace.

My friends, has the day Jesus died on the cross really become the day that He died for you? You say, "But didn't He die for everyone?" Well Yes and No! His death only has value for you if you are willing to receive Him as your Saviour! Otherwise, as far as you are concerned, His death on the cross meant absolutely nothing!

Has there been a day in your life when you trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? Has there been a moment in your life when you embraced Him, His blood and His resurrection as your only hope of Heaven? Are you saved? If not, you can be! Just come to Him if He is calling you and He will save you by His grace and set you free from your sins and your destiny in Hell.

Are you saved? Are you living like a saved person? After all He did for you, how can you give Him less than your best? Are you saved? How long has it been since you bowed before Him and just loved on the Lord and thanked Him for saving an old sinner like yourself? Whatever He is doing in your heart today, just mind Him!

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